• Top 10 National Parks for Visits Feature Mountain

     
    POSTED March 26, 2018
     

    Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Lake. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

  • Top 10 National Parks for Visits Feature Mountain

     
    POSTED March 26, 2018
     

    Grand Canyon National Park Grandview day hike. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

  • Top 10 National Parks for Visits Feature Mountain

     
    POSTED March 26, 2018
     

    Glacier National Park. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service and Tim Rains

The National Park Service (NPS) recently announced that 330,882,751 recreation visits took place in 2017, very close to the record-setting 330,971,689 recreation visits in 2016. Half of national park visitation occurred in 27 parks, and visitors spent more time in parks during their 2017 visits compared to 2016. 

What struck home is the fact that the 10 national parks with the most visitation all feature mountains and only two (Great Smoke Mountains National Park and Acadia National Park) are outside the U.S. Mountain West. What does this mean for groups? It means choosing destinations near national parks and integrating visits and related activities into itineraries for meetings and incentive trips should be a winning and memorable choice for attendees.

Top 10 Visitation National Parks

Park Recreation Visits
Great Smoky Mountains National Park 11,388,893
Grand Canyon National Park 6,254,238
Zion National Parl 4,504,812
Rocky Mountain National Park 4,437,215
Yosemite National Park 4,336,890
Yellowstone National Park 4,116,524
Acadia National Park 3,509,271
Olympic National Park 3,401,996
Grand Teton National Park 3,317,000
Glacier National Park 3,305,512

However, increased attendance at parks—1.5 billion visits in the last five years—also means aging park facilities are incurring additional wear and tear. President Trump has proposed legislation to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund that would help address the $11.6 billion maintenance backlog in the NPS. How can groups help? Planners can check if volunteer initiatives are available or if groups can help fund repairs and improvements at a particular park or facility. For example, Rocky Mountain Nature Association (now the Rocky Mountain Conservancy) has been producing educational publications, offering seminars, supporting research, and providing aid and philanthropic support to Rocky Mountain National Park and other public lands partners since 1931. The conservancy is one of the oldest cooperating associations working with the National Park Service.Throughout the entire National Park System (NPS), which also includes well-known monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Great Smoky Mountains National Park ranked third and Grand Canyon National Park ninth. Plus, Lake Mead National Recreation Area in southeastern Nevada and northwestern Arizona ranked sixth with 7,882,339 visits. 

Get groups out and plugged into all the amazing beauty and history of our National Park System!

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole in Wyoming launched the summer season with a new member on its team, Emma Matilda. A 16-week-old Bernese mountain dog, Tillie, joined the Four Seasons team from Colorado in early May 5 and has been melting the hearts of guests, groups and staff ever since.

 

Food trucks may be mobile, but they aren’t going anywhere, since their popularity only seems to grow with each season. A New Jersey hotel is getting in on the fun! Along with over 18,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, Embassy Suites by Hilton in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, offers the Grain & Cane “Gastro Truck” as a fun option for a mid-meeting break or post-event dining option.

 

The family-focused, Wisconsin-based Great Wolf Lodge opened its first resort in Wisconsin Dells in 1997. Over the next two decades, it slowly expanded with more properties around the Midwest, moving into the Northeast, South, West and Canada. And this summer, the greater Chicago area will get its first resort from the brand.